Friday, January 04, 2008

If it's good enough for the nurses...

Faith points me to a little tale of madness involving some indepth research.
A ban on hospital doctors wearing wristwatches could be potentially dangerous, say researchers.

Hospitals are about to implement a "bare below the elbows" dress code following advice from the Department of Health on how to cut infection risk.

Researchers asked doctors to estimate respiratory and pulse rates without looking at a second hand.

The Brtish Medical Journal study found estimates varied wildly when doctors had to rely just on judgement.

Really? Well, fuck me, that is a surprise. What's to stop doctors using a decent, old-fashioned fob watch, or even one of those upside-down watches that nurses pin to their breast?
And they said fob watches have been found to be impractical for some clinical procedures.

Like what, exactly? Would anyone care to enlighten me?

Or is this a matter of doctors' pride: wouldn't want to wander around with a watch on one's chest, would one? Might get mistaken for one of those damn nurse practitioners, eh?

26 comments:

Mark Wadsworth said...

The trick is to find a song that's exactly 128 bpm and where the verse is 32 bars long and sing that in your headwhile - that's your one minute. Obviously being able to count a pulse at the same time is an acquired skill.

Mark Wadsworth said...

"head while you count"

verity said...

What's wrong with all four walls of the operating room having a clock?

Lurkingblackhat said...

Verity

You would think so wouldn't you.

In September I had surgery and an overnight stay in NHS hospital. Almost every wall clock I saw was not working both in the pre Op ward, and a mixed ward I stayed in over night.

Post Op recovery ward clocks were working.

(BTW that was mixed six bed cubicle with 3 men 3 women. I thought Labour had done away with mixed wards years ago. )

jimi said...

If doctors agree to this one they'll be wanting another £150m pay increase!

Shug Niggurath said...

At least when they are checking for appendicitis you wont get the wristwatch crisco :)

Rob said...

I think pocket watches should be used -- nice brass ones.

Also pipes and big grey moustaches should be compulsory.

It would certainly increase respect for doctors.

George said...

I'm surprised at the tone of the original blog - I would have thought that imposition of rules completely lacking in evidence base, which will increase patients' dificulty in distinguishing between doctors and other non-medically trained groups would have provoked anti-Lord Darzi comments, not anti-doctor comments.

My local hospital managed to say that doctors changing from their usual suits into polo shirts will create a more professional image, which is surely the most absurd comment I've heard in a while.

Roger Thornhill said...

I suppose Docs bare up to the elbows is to symbolise what an almighty fisting everyone gets from New Labour, in particular when they are unfortunate enough to get ill.

That, and a compulsion to appear to do something - "Activity by Proxy"?

mitch said...

I will then resign my job and go round hospitals ripping open lockers and selling the rolexs I find.

Henry North London said...

No one brings their rolex into work unless they keep it with them I would never leave a decent watch in a locker and yes I am a doctor.

Unsworth said...

"Also pipes and big grey moustaches should be compulsory"

Certainly are in our area - and that's the female members of the profession.

Faith Walker said...

Lurkingblackhat: on short stay wards, is much more difficult to have all male/female bays- especially if it for emergency surgery! Recovery has been mixed sex everywhere I've worked.

They do usually try and segregate the bays though. Not always possible unfortuantely- especially in wards run by emergency services (such as Medical/Surgical assessment and coronory care/ ITU etc).

I suppose the clocks not working thing isn't top on the list of NHS things to do as they assume everyone will have a fob watch or watch of some sort of them.

Lurkingblackhat said...

Faith walker.

BTW

One thing I have noticed in a varied life is that if organisation/team/group are not sorting out the little but obvious things (like wall clocks) they tend to be failing on the more important stuff to.

Try it out.

lurkingblackhat said...

Faith walker

The nursing staff looking after me were first rate and very kind.

The surgeon not so. There was a stand up arguement over my feet in pre Op (I was lying out getting the feeds fitted) between the ward sister and my surgeon about where I was supposed to be on his list or not.

Nice eh? Give it was a planned bit of surgery.

My point about mixed cubicle was that the Department of Health has been claiming that these have been all but removed from the system.

Faith Walker said...

Try it out?

I didn't say it was right, I just said its probably not top on their list!

Faith Walker said...

Oh, definitely not gone. Not completely. But on the whole, they do try not to have them unless its the absolute last straw. If it was a choice between a mixed bay and one person getting no treatment i know which option i'd go for!

I'm not sure the same rules apply for day surgery though- i'd have to check.

E said...

Doctors wearing fob wathches??

Don't you know you have to be at least a Nurse practitioner or even a Consultant nurse before you are allowed to wear one of those things.

Anonymous said...

spot on George

Shocked that DK's beginning to fall for all the anti-Doctor spin, never mind Gordo's going to get a big bloody nose soon from the GPs.

Personally hope they all do a dentist & start charging a public that knows the value of nothing.

Devil's Kitchen said...

George,

"I'm surprised at the tone of the original blog - I would have thought that imposition of rules completely lacking in evidence base, which will increase patients' dificulty in distinguishing between doctors and other non-medically trained groups would have provoked anti-Lord Darzi comments, not anti-doctor comments."

Ah, right, so it is just a doctors' pride thing. The idea that wristwatches don't carry bacteria (as certain doctors are claiming) is utter bollocks. The bacteria might not survive very long, but they don't need to.

Anon,

"Shocked that DK's beginning to fall for all the anti-Doctor spin, never mind Gordo's going to get a big bloody nose soon from the GPs."

I'm falling for "anti-doctor spin" now, am I? So, a mild criticism of doctors is falling for "anti-doctor spin", is it?

Seriously, don't be so fucking stupid. I have heavily criticised both doctors and nurses in the past as both can be and have been at fault.

But here's an idea that might help doctors regain some respect: they should shut the fuck up rather than suggesting bans on drink, on smoking, on sitting on sofas or whatever their latest wheeze for encouraging the government to enslave us all is.

And every time that the BMA pokes its head above the parapet to do the same, every doctor in the country should withhold their payments and write to their local paper assuring everyone that "the BMA do not represent me".

The credibility of doctors and scientists has rarely been so low: they are held in total contempt by anyone that has been watching their representatives blindly flailing around, proposing fascist laws and admitting that they just pulled figures out of their arse.

Now, if that's anti-doctor spin, I am not falling for it: I am the anti-doctor spin. If doctors know what's good for them, then they will follow my advice to shut the fuck up and get on with the job that they are paid to do: patching people up.

Personally hope they all do a dentist & start charging a public that knows the value of nothing.

Quite. Then we can tear down the NHS, doctors will have to start competing against one another for patients, and the shit doctors will go bankrupt.

People will pay into an insurance system that -- unlike the National Insurance -- actually has a chance of paying out, and they will pay for their vices.

Roll on the day!

DK

mitch said...

Just a thought for you. that NHS stop smoking advert they ask you to phone em and they send you a DVD but I would imagine when you give your name and address they add you to the list of people they wont treat or am i getting paranoid.

Dr Ray said...

George is correct and you have fallen for the government spin DK.
Of course watches carry bacteria - they are also a pain to remove every time you do a procedure which is why very few ward doctors wear them. If you are going to ban watches on doctors who work in an office or lab you may as well ban shoes and sock because they carry germs too.
If doctors were the vector for MRSA and c.diff why are infection rates so much lower in private hospitals? The same doctors work in them.
Recognise this is part of the process of vilifying and demonising the medical profession and try not to swallow it hook, line and sinker.

dr cromarty said...

There is a rather obvious solution. Take the wristwatch off and afix it to the belt loop in your trousers or skirt, or attach to clothing via a safety pin

the a&e charge nurse said...

Devil - doctors are indeed paid to patch people up but most would argue that prevention is better than cure - better financially, and certainly better in terms of overall well being - ask any doctor treating a smoker with lung cancer, say.

By the way there are 60million of us and only 130,000 of them, lets face it, the odds are well and truly stacked against Joe Bloggs.......but if you need the name of a nurse quack ?

Devil's Kitchen said...

A&E,

"Devil - doctors are indeed paid to patch people up but most would argue that prevention is better than cure - better financially, and certainly better in terms of overall well being - ask any doctor treating a smoker with lung cancer, say."

Tough shit. Doctors are not paid to regulate or monitor people's personal habits, nor to pass judgement on them. Neither are politicians.

Give people the information and then let them decide for themselves what they want to do. It's called freedom.

This is precisely why I advocate people paying for their own healthcare (and, yes, that includes me): they then pay the price for their own bad habits and can judge whether or not they should indulge in them.

DK

Dr Ray said...

DK,

You are mistaken about doctors duties. The GMC list of duties includes:

"Protect and promote the health of patients and the public"

I am not arguing that doctors should be imposing their will on the population. You may understand the risk and be able to form a judgement whether you want to smoke or drink excessively but some people can't and are easily influenced by advertising and peer pressure. It is a doctors duty to educate the public on health matters. The GMC could, in theory, disciplne doctors if they didn't according to their published "duties of a doctor"
I suppose you could argue that the GMC were F...ktards to include this as a duty and I would agree. No-one ever asked me if I wanted to take this duty on.